KEVIN BALL insists Sunderland’s stop-gap coaching team will look to get even more out of Emanuele Giaccherini in his new surroundings.
Giaccherini was solely deployed out wide by Paolo Di Canio after arriving in a £6.8million move from Juventus during the summer.
But the Italian international was re-deployed into the hole behind lone striker Jozy Altidore for Tuesday’s Capital One Cup win over Peterborough and responded with a goal and arguably his most impressive display for the Black Cats.
Caretaker boss Ball was encouraged and is working with Giaccherini on the training ground to help him work more effectively in tandem with fellow new boy Altidore.
“We were debating how we wanted to set up on Tuesday, and we were mindful of how well Peterborough had started the season,” said Ball.
“We looked at how we could fit in among that and we said about playing Giaccy in the number 10 role and I thought he did it really well.
“There were bits that were excellent and there were bits that we will speak to him about and try to help him with.
“But he will be able to evaluate his own performance when he watches it back, so he can say ‘maybe I could have done this or that’.
“I thought, in the main though, he did really well, when you look at his movement and running.
“He put in an excellent shift, got a goal and deserved the applause he got when he came off.”
Giaccherini is likely to remain alongside Altidore for Sunday’s televised visit of Liverpool, with two of Sunderland’s attacking options missing.
The Black Cats continue to assess the shoulder injury suffered by Steven Fletcher at West Brom last weekend, while on-loan Liverpool frontman Fabio Borini is ineligible to face his parent club.
But Ball insists that the team he selected against Peterborough was not picked with half an eye on Liverpool – stressing he just wanted to ensure Sunderland’s safe progression in the cup after Di Canio’s dismissal 48 hours earlier.
“I didn’t think about Liverpool before Tuesday,” added Ball.
“It had been a difficult couple of days and I just wanted to concentrate on Peterborough, particularly because so much can happen in terms of picking the team.
“The boys were off on Wednesday and then yesterday, we trained and then looked at what to do for Sunday.”